Dawn Elise Mooney

Dawn Elise Mooney
University of Stavanger (UiS) · Arkeologisk museum

MA Cantab, MPhil, Ph.D.

About

50
Publications
7,335
Reads
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112
Citations
Citations since 2017
22 Research Items
84 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023051015202530
2017201820192020202120222023051015202530
Introduction
Dawn Elise Mooney is an associate professor at the Museum of Archaeology, University of Stavanger (UiS). Her research combines results from archaeological, archaeobotanical, and historical studies to explore human-environment interactions in marginal environments. She is particularly interested in the use of wild and non-food plant resources, especially in the Medieval North Atlantic. Dawn is is co-chair of the EAA Community of Research on Wild Plant Resources.
Additional affiliations
January 2017 - present
University of Stavanger (UiS)
Position
  • Researcher/Palaeobotanist
January 2016 - present
University of Iceland
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • 2015-16: FOR601M Occasional Seminar in Archaeology II: Coastal Connections - Archaeological approaches to marine resource use. BA/MA, 5 ECTS 2016-2017: FOR602M Occasional Seminar in Archaeology I: The Archaeology of Plants. BA/MA, 5 ECTS
January 2015 - December 2016
University of Iceland
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
October 2009 - December 2013
University of Aberdeen
Field of study
  • Archaeology
October 2007 - August 2008
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Archaeological Research
October 2003 - June 2006
University of Cambridge
Field of study
  • Archaeology & Anthropology

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
A programme of coring and limited excavation at Sandártunga in Þjórsádalur was undertaken in 2017 in order to gain a better insight into the material conditions of life at the site during the 17th century. When the site was originally investigated in 1949, very little in the way of finds was recovered and although animal bones were mentioned, none...
Book
Full-text available
From the 9th century AD onwards, Norse migration resulted in the spread across the North Atlantic of cultural traits originating in Norway. The challenging landscapes of this region rewarded resilience and adaptability, evidenced by complex subsistence strategies incorporating the exploitation of a variety of outfield resources. However, differing...
Chapter
Full-text available
The North Atlantic islands have always been relatively wood-poor. Nonetheless, from the Viking Age they were home to Norse settlers who in their homelands relied significantly on wood resources for the production of a huge variety of objects from cooking utensils to ships. The story of how these settlers adapted their craft processes and exploitati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Foraging has become mainstream over the last decade, with many people supplementing their diet with wild gathered foods. Archaeologists, however, have been less engaged with the use of gathered resources, especially in agrarian societies. Nonetheless, in many past societies agriculture, gathering, hunting and fishing all contributed to a varied sub...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Environmental archaeology has undergone significant development and consolidation in recent decades, integrating a growing variety of proxies. Our knowledge about past landscapes and plant exploitation has greatly expanded. It is time now to go further and reintegrate humans as research subjects in archaeological and archaeobotanical studies of hum...
Article
Full-text available
This study analysed pollen and plant macrofossils from mainly Bronze Age and Iron Age funerary, agricultural and settlement remains, to infer local plant exploitation and long-term land-use development at Øvre Øksnevad in southwestern Norway. The results showed that deciduous woodland covered the site prior to c. 2100 BC. After this, until c. 500 B...
Preprint
Full-text available
The North Atlantic islands have always been relatively wood-poor. Nonetheless, from the Viking Age they were home to Norse settlers who in their homelands relied significantly on wood resources for the production of a huge variety of objects, from cooking utensils to ships. The story of how these settlers adapted their craft processes and exploitat...
Article
Full-text available
At the 23rd Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) in August to September 2017 in Maastricht, NL, two sessions explored how archaeobotanical analysis can be used to explore plant use beyond arable agriculture. Session 203 (The Archaeobotany of Non-Food Plant Exploitation) focused on the non-food uses of plants, while Ses...
Article
Full-text available
Relatively little charcoal analysis has been conducted in western Norway, despite its considerable potential to contribute to the interpretation of archaeological sites. This is especially relevant in the case of ironworking and other industries which require large amounts of fuel. In 2018 excavations in Sandeid, Vindafjord k. revealed the largest...
Chapter
Full-text available
Recent excavations of a Viking Age settlement at Lækjargata, in the centre of modern-day Reykjavík, produced one of the largest assemblages of charred botanical remains found so far in Iceland. Iceland lies at the northern limits of productive arable agriculture, however this was not always the case in the past, and there has been much debate surro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While Iceland lies at the northern limit of modern cereal cultivation, this was not always the case, and palynological analyses, landscape surveys and historical documentary sources provide evidence for past arable agriculture. However, the extent of cereal cultivation in Iceland in the Viking Age and early Medieval period has been the subject of m...
Poster
Full-text available
Literary sources describe the Icelandic landscape when the first settlers arrived as ‘forested from the mountains to the shores’. It had previously been thought that the island was rapidly deforested after settlement, but recent research gives a much more nuanced picture of woodland history. It is becoming clear that while woodland declined in some...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
Full-text available
Seaweed forms an important element of diet in many parts of the world and has a wide variety of other uses due to its high mineral content. However, while seaweed remains are relatively frequently reported from archaeological contexts, its use in the past in northern Europe is little understood. Over the past two decades, charred remains of Fucus-t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In 2015, excavations of a Viking Age settlement at Lækjargata 10-12, Reykjavík, produced the largest assemblage of charred cereal grain known in Iceland. Cereal cultivation has previously been investigated in Iceland mostly based on evidence from palynological studies, landscape surveys, and historical documentary sources, due to the generally low...
Poster
Full-text available
Iceland is a classic example of an ‘island laboratory’, and myriad studies have explored the impacts of the late 9th century Norse colonisation on the island’s fragile ecosystem. An issue regularly raised in such studies is the extent to which cultivation, especially of barley, took place, and why this practice stopped. Charred barley grains, palyn...
Article
The limited native tree flora of Iceland, combined with the decline in native woodlands following the settlement of the island in the late ninth century AD, led to a very limited availability of timber on the island. However, Icelanders continued to rely on wood for fuel, construction and artefact production. Driftwood, which arrives in great quant...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Norse colonisation of Iceland around AD 870 set in motion a chain-reaction of landscape degradation, including rapid woodland decline. Despite this, wood continued to be used for artefact production and for construction both in Iceland and in Greenland, where Norse colonies were established in the late 10th century AD. This presentation uses ar...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The colonisation of Iceland around 870 AD was accompanied by woodland decline, decreasing woodland cover on the island from up to 40% pre-colonisation to 1% in the present day. However, native woodlands continued to be an essential resource for construction material, domestic fuel, and charcoal production, and both archaeological and palaeoenvironm...
Article
While boat and ship graves are known from across northern Europe, and are particularly associated with the Viking Age, only seven examples of such monuments have been excavated in Iceland. Furthermore, no shipwrecks are known dating from this period in Iceland, and examples of boat timbers preserved by waterlogging are very rare. As such, the miner...
Article
Throughout history, wood has been of key importance to many human communities both as a source of fuel and as material for construction. This applies not only in areas with plentiful woodlands or forests, but also in more marginal island environments where limited native wood resources are available. In such environments, the use of ‘exotic’ timber...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The 12th-century AD Íslendingabók describes Iceland as having been ‘covered with woodland from the mountains to the seashores’ at the time of the Norse settlement in the late 9th-century AD. Current woodland cover is only around 1%, and much archaeological and palaeoenvironmental research has been devoted to the study of this decline. However, ther...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While boat and ship graves are known across northern Europe, and are particularly associated with the Viking Age, only seven examples of such monuments have been excavated in Iceland. Furthermore, no shipwrecks are known dating from this period in Iceland, and examples of boat timbers preserved by waterlogging are very rare. As such, the mineralise...
Article
A grant from Our Heritage, a Heritage Lottery Fund scheme, facilitated a programme of archive conservation and reassessment, site improvement, archaeological investigation and community outreach at Whitehawk Camp, an early neolithic causewayed enclosure, during 2014 and 2015. Data gathered by the project indicates how the monument has deteriorated...
Book
Between 2006 and 2010, Archaeology South-East carried out a series of large scale excavations in advance of development to the north-east of the coastal town of Peacehaven, East Sussex. The excavations, which amount to some 36.2 hectares, have provided a rare opportunity to examine prehistoric and Roman landuse in the South Downs on an unprecedente...
Chapter
Full-text available
Book
Full-text available
Between 2006 and 2010, Archaeology South-East carried out a series of large scale excavations in advance of development to the north-east of the coastal town of Peacehaven, East Sussex. The excavations, which amount to some 36.2 hectares, have provided a rare opportunity to examine prehistoric and Roman landuse in the South Downs on an unprecedente...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The eighth field season on the Vatnsfjörður farm mound lasted from July 15th to August 9th 2013. The excavation was supervised by Oddgeir Isaksen, and Garðar Guðmundsson, assisted by Alan D´Zurilla, Nicola Trbojevic and Solveig Lecoutruier. The excavation was aided by seven students of the 2013 Field School in North Atlantic Archaeology: Cameryn Cl...
Article
Full-text available
Although birch wood is the only woodland-forming native tree in Iceland, little is known about its importance as a source of fuel for interior heating and cooking in Viking Age Iceland. Studies of fuel residues suggest that birch wood was the prevalent fuel in some sites, but not in others, and further research has been hampered by the lack of unde...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
This project seeks to reinvigorate archaeological research at L'Anse aux Meadows (LAM) through an examination of chronological legacy data, renewed radiocarbon dating, open area excavation and fine-grained environmental analysis of cultural horizon(s) recently identified in a peat bog adjacent to the Norse ruins at the site. The objectives are, broadly, to examine the roles played by the different people who lived in the area – from Indigenous foragers to European explorers, fishers and planters – in shaping the local landscape and biodiversity from c. 2000 years ago to the present-day. This project is funded through an SSHRC Insight Grant to V. Forbes and P. Ledger and involves graduate students and collaborators from our institution (Memorial University), elsewhere in Canada, and abroad.
Project
This project aims to undertake environmental archaeological analyses of sediments recovered from the UNESCO World Heritage site of L’Anse aux Meadows. Palaeoenvironmental sampling of the peat bog east of the Norse ruins in August 2018 revealed an apparently cultural deposit rich in exceptionally well-preserved plant and insect remains. The objectives of this project are to establish the cultural affinity of this deposit through environmental archaeological analyses and C14 dating and to delineate its extent through further archaeological prospection.
Project
Call for paper - 24th Annual Meeting of European Association of Archaeologists, Barcelona 5-8.09.2018 Please submit your abstract via https://www.e-a-a.org/eaa2018 by Thursday 15th of February.